Experiments with multiple firing

by | Apr 15, 2022 | All

I previous posted about my experiments with creating objects inspired by Tidepools and Taihu Rocks. These studio explorations/bumblings continue. One things that I’ve been playing with as part of this process is the use of multiple firings.

I’ve started playing with multi-firings because of my interest in reticulation glazes. Reticulation glazes yield an ‘alligator skin’ effect… which I used for the lotus petals in the image above.

(Excellent article on reticulation glazes here at Ceramic Arts Network).

These glazes work best on clay slip, however… which is good for sculptural work, but not optimal for functional ware. So- I wanted to see if I could use them over other glazes.

Initial experiments were not promising. I was layering reticulation over underlying glazes and doing a single firing, and the two glazes just fused with minimal effect.

I had a lot more success, however, with the reticulation glazes layered on pre-fired ware. The saki cup below is a good example.

One issue- when applied over a pre-fired glaze, the reticulation coating tends to fracture and flake… which can result in a mess of scattered, molten glaze drabs scattered over your kiln shelves.

So- not ideal for vertical wares… but very interesting on horizonal surfaces. I’m definitely happy with the effect on some of my Taihu/Tidepool experiments. See before/after image below. 

The first example (above) was reticulation glaze over a matte, sculptural pebble base. Here’s a larger view… and then an example with reticulation over a glossy black glaze (‘Licorice‘, from mastering cone six glazes)

I’m not sure how deeply I want to dive here- since double firing inherently wastes energy and time…

But the results can look pretty cool.

David Roon

David Roon

An artist working at the interface of visual art and Conservation Biology, and a professor at the University of Idaho (Natural Resources and Society).

Mixed media and printmaking, with a strong grounding in ceramics. Exploring the interface between humans and the global biosphere (particularly coastal and marine ecosystems). Installation, sculpture, and ginormous functional pots.

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